We face opposition in this battle for life. On one side, you and I stand passionately for life, and on the other are those who vehemently advocate for abortion. But if we focus solely on this head-to-head confrontation of “pro-life versus pro-abortion,” there’s a large segment of society that remains overlooked—those who don’t identify with either side. Unfortunately, one of the challenges we have to address is indifference.
From the start, abortion has been politicized and polarized, and many have simply chosen to opt out of the debate. Often, these are the people who say they “cannot make the decision for someone else.” Even if they personally are against abortion, they may feel as if taking a position would be forcing their beliefs on others. However, the reality is that if they aren’t standing for life, they’re an unwitting accomplice allowing abortion to continue claiming the lives of millions of babies. If we’re to engage those who are indifferent, it requires taking a different perspective and re-framing the issue away from politics and alienation.
In her own words, Julia Herrington was a bona-fide and boisterous feminist. Following that value system, she accepted the political mantra that abortion was a woman’s right. She admits that her attitude toward abortion was apathetic. She justified her position through a series of questions: “Who am I to presume to know what is right for another woman? Am I, as a feminist, willing to assert that abortion isn’t right? Would I not be robbing women of authority over their own personhood, something women have fought arduously for, for far too long?” Yet, inside she had doubts that she couldn’t reconcile. In a blog posted on patheos.com, Julia shares how a year of soul searching and even working at a pro-life pregnancy resource center changed her mind about abortion.
First, abortion has long been positioned by pro-abortion activists and the mainstream media as a woman’s rights issue. That propaganda has fueled the pro-abortion movement for decades. It was intentional in design to link abortion to social justice. However, the truth is just the opposite. Abortion doesn’t liberate women; it oppresses them. Julia examined the abortion procedure itself and what she found is contrary to what feminism is supposed to stand for. “In every other facet of feminism, we celebrate a woman’s body; we honor her identity as a female. Abortion requires the silencing of a woman’s body and the unmitigated dismissing of her gender.” Rather than empowering, abortion silences and dehumanizes.
Julia went on further to question the roots of abortion—the lie that sex without consequences is a possibility. “Sexual liberation has made slaves out of women; it has only perpetuated and glorified their objectification. The worst part is, these women think that they are free,” she concluded. Healthy sexuality is responsible and respectful, which is why it’s intended for the marriage relationship. As a culture, when we devalue our own bodies, it’s apparent that a child in the womb would be deemed disposable.
We see this same logic within the Planned Parenthood business model. It preys upon children and teens with graphic sexualized messages. Their “anything goes” philosophy of sexuality is indoctrination. They encourage young people to have sex. If an STD is contracted, Planned Parenthood provides testing and treatment. Then, if an unplanned pregnancy occurs, Planned Parenthood is there with abortion services. The abortion industry feeds off of unhealthy sexuality. As a result, men, women and babies are all victims.
Lastly, Julia comes to the conclusion that apathy is not an acceptable response. Edmund Burke was right when he said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” It’s important that we help those who are indifferent see that by not taking a stand, they’re enabling abortion to continue to kill the pre-born and emotionally devastate their parents.
While working at a pregnancy resource center, Julia’s eyes were opened to the life-affirming alternatives to abortion. She now believes in a holistic and proactive approach to all issues of life from educating about healthy sexuality to supporting young mothers and families to involvement with the foster care system. Realizing how abortion is interconnected to other issues can aid us in connecting with others.
Unfortunately, not everyone is willing to go through such a self-seeking journey as Julia did. That’s why we need to learn from her experience, examine our own perspectives and be willing to try different approaches to reach out to the indifferent.
Changing hearts and minds for LIFE,
Life Issues Institute